Opinion: Their work demands the constant creation and affirmation of sexual limits in a professional setting — something most people clearly struggle with.

There’s a group of people who are uniquely qualified to lead the rollicking global conversation about sexism, sexuality, privilege, and power that is being fueled by daily reports of sexual assault by powerful men. These are people who know more about the negotiation of sexual boundaries than anyone else on the planet — and right now, they are barely being listened to.

As an attorney, I’ve been representing and advocating for sex workers for over 15 years. Their working lives are spent grappling with how to safely satiate sexual desires in a puritanical society that tells us sex is mostly bad and shameful. Their labor demands the constant creation and affirmation of sexual limits in a professional setting — something most people clearly struggle with.

When it’s done right, sex work is a straightforward and consensual form of sexual interaction in a deeply uneven world — money is power, sex is power, and the two can be consensually exchanged for mutual benefit in clear and honest ways. The entire sexual self can be acknowledged, seen, and enjoyed.

Not all sexual labor is empowering or even consensual — I have represented dozens of survivors of human trafficking who have suffered extreme abuse at the hands of traffickers, police, and to a lesser extent, clients. This is labor exploitation — and yet, again, survivors of this horrific abuse know more than most about the importance of consent and the creation of boundaries — and about the pathologies of men inclined to disregard these things.

It’s worth noting that, as you are reading this article, a veteran sex worker is at the heart of a presidential scandal. If you pay close attention to the words of Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, as she describes her sexual relationship with President Trump — one in which she clearly never sought his affection or romance, and for which she eventually got recognition and payment — it gives an insight into Trump’s character that few others were talking about back in 2011, when she gave her tell-all interview.

Read the full article: 

Want To Learn About Boundaries And Consent? Listen To Sex Workers. by Melissa Broudo
BuzzFeed, February 1, 2018

image: Adult film star Stormy Daniels visiting a restaurant in downtown New Orleans as she explored a possible US Senate run in 2009. Bill Haber/AP